The Ontario government will transition to a cost-sharing model for retiree benefits for employees retiring on or after Jan. 1, 2017.

A key feature of the new model will require employees retiring on or after Jan. 1, 2017, to pay 50% of their benefits premiums; currently, the government pays 100%.

There will also be a change on the eligibility period for retiree benefits from 10 to 20 years for employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2017.

Current retirees from the Ontario public service will not be affected by these changes.

“We must continue to manage costs in a responsible and fair way,” says Minister of Finance Charles Sousa. “With half of all government spending going to compensation, including post-retirement benefits, managing these costs is essential to ensuring sustainable public services that Ontarians rely on.”

On Twitter, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union said the cuts are unnecessary and it “is looking at legal options.”

Last week in the 2014 budget, the federal government proposed that the costs of the Public Service Health Care Plan for retirees are shared equally. It currently pays 75% of benefits costs.

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